Kilchoman: Machir Bay 2014 (Scottish Islay Single Malt Whisky: 46% ABV)
Visual: Very pale greened grain.
Viscosity: No notes taken.
Nose: Dry. Smoke. Salt. Astringent. Rocks. Crusty bread. Salted lemon.
Body: Initially light. Vanilla sweetness. Salt. Moss. Slight raisins. Smoked beef. Sherry cream. Slight alcohol tingle if taken neat. Water makes more toffee and sherry sweet and brings out salted lemons.
Finish: Slight sherry trifle. Dry medicinal notes. Vanilla sweetness. Brown bread. Smoke. More trifle with water and adds salted lemon.
Conclusion: Ok, I may just be tasting salted lemons in everything since drinking Kiln Embers. Keep that in mind whilst reading these notes. Aside from that note let me say this is an interesting wee whisky. Unlike the 2007 expression it needs a touch of water to work, not much, just a drop or two, but it is still just a little fiery neat.
Despite that it feels light, not in a bad way, but in that – while salty and lightly medicinal, it does not have that booming character of the more prominent Islays. This allows more subtle elements to be there – the sherry trifle, salted lemon and vanilla toffee don’t need to be loud to be heard in the mix. Again, this is with just a slight amount of water that really lets it open up.
Initially it seemed a slightly simple, lightly medicinal whisky, but as the sweetness came out it started to portray distinct elements from both the sherry and bourbon ageing and I realised there was more to this than meets the eye. It does not eschew the traditional Islay character, but it more uses it to call the sweetness into contrast.
Not what I expected, a very easy drinking Islay that manages to keep the Islay character. Very nice. You know, I kind of hope there is at least one bad whisky in this set. Not because I want bad whisky, but at this rate everyone is going to be claiming I am a paid shill. Anyway, the whisky calendar is doing well so far.
Background: Ok, (mostly) copy paste time again. ” Ok, bias warning first: This is a part of the Masters Of Malt Whisky Calendar given to The Bath Whisky and Rum Club, part of Independent Spirit, who invited me to assist with the notes in return for uploading them to alcohol and aphorisms. Sounded a very fair deal to me. Also, due to this we each only had half of the 3cl bottle so thoughts are based on a smaller exploration than usual. On the other hand I could not say no to the chance to try so many new whiskies. Many thanks!” New info! Ok, from my research this is a mix of five and six year old whisky from oloroso sherry and bourbon cask, which is unusual for Kilchoman. And by research I mean that is pretty much copied directly from their website. Sorry. Drunk while listening to even more Crossfaith. Yes I did do this set of notes immediately after the last, why do you ask?